PLN Speed Dating: Meet Marlo Gaddis

A few weeks ago I was in Raleigh, North Carolina working with Wake County educators for the DEN Spring Virtual Conference. I worked with Marlo Gaddis (DEN STAR and Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services for Wake County) to plan the in-person event. We decided to offer a mix of virtual and in-person sessions for the almost 70 attendees.

One of the sessions Marlo delivered was called “PLN Speed Dating”. This workshop is a creative and hands-on approach used to introduce the value of social media for the purpose of professional learning. I asked Marlo if I could share this with the community and of course, true to the spirit of the DEN she was more than willing to share. The following is Marlo’s summary of the PLN Speed Dating workshop along with a link to all of the resources you will need. Thank you Marlo for sharing!!


PLN-Speed Dating style was created to introduce the value of social media for professional learning. In 10 minutes, each table gets to explore one user for either Twitter, Pinterest, or blogging. They use a graphic organizer (included) to record what they learned. Then the group spends 5 minutes sharing what they learned. When time is up, they get a new resource to explore and start again. After the speed dating rounds, the group reflects on what they like or dislike about each resource. We wind up the workshop investigating web resources and apps that help organize their social media (Feedly, Hootsuite, Zite, Flipboard, etc.).

Link to the PLN Speed Dating presentation

Link to PLN resource docs



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  1. Paula Naugle said:

    This is such an awesome way to introduce blogs, Pinterest, and Twitter as a way to build a PLN. Thanks for sharing all of the resources.

  2. Sam Walker said:

    That Marlo Gaddis is one sharp educator! Wake County is lucky to have her innovation and passion for giving teachers new perspectives for using digital age tools!!

  3. Mark said:

    I learned about the speed dating idea last summer at DENsi. I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll use it this week.

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